The Commandery will be offering free entry on Saturday 14 September, 10.00am to 5.00pm, for Heritage Open Day and will be exploring the siege of 1643 where the people of Worcester came out to defend the city from the Parliamentarian army of Gloucester. There will be talks and tours, a cannon drill and a 17th century drum workshop where visitors can experience the importance of drums on the battlefield.

The Guildhall was once the seat of justice for the city, and is also throwing its doors open to visitors on Saturday 14 September from 10.00am to 4.00pm to allow visitors to follow the footsteps of former prisoners who were locked up there. This is your opportunity to step back in history and visit the cells and Court Room, which witnessed scenes of high drama for many years. The history of the Guildhall will be brought to life with costumed characters and guided tours.  There will be a history-themed colouring in activity for children in the Court Room, and the opportunity to visit the Mayor’s Parlour complete with swords and maces.

“The Guildhall is an ornate and stunningly beautiful building which has hosted royalty on a number of occasions.  However many Worcester residents have never been inside to experience its magnificent paintings, chandeliers and rich history,” says the Mayor, Cllr Allah Ditta, who will be welcoming visitors on the day. “It’s well worth a visit – especially as it’s completely free!”

Museums Worcestershire’s knowledgeable interpretation team will be on hand to talk visitors through The Commandery’s fascinating history. Rooms to explore include the Civil War Story exhibition and the beautiful Painted Chamber.

Outside of Worcester city centre, Hartlebury Castle will be taking part and opening their doors for free on 14 and 15 September, with costumes interpreters and talking portraits to meet, plus hidden rooms and nostalgic displays to enjoy and the Castle trail for younger visitors. On Friday 13 September, Worcestershire County Museum (based within Hartlebury Castle) will be running free tours of the museum’s offsite collection stores, a treasure trove of historic objects which are rarely seen by the public and which reveal the story of Worcestershire. Tours are at 11am, 12.30pm & 2pm and must be booked in advance on 01299 250416.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or which normally charge for admission.